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Hyperion Records

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Golden Days by Lee Campbell (b1951)
Private Collection / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67853
Recording details: March 2010
Winchester Cathedral, United Kingdom
Produced by Adrian Peacock
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: June 2011
Total duration: 5 minutes 46 seconds

'The performances of Winchester Cathedral Choir are so good you hardly register the need to 'assess' them—exactly as it should be in devotional music. That's a huge tribute to the state of the singing at the cathedral, and to Andrew Lumsden, who directs it. A marvellous CD, beautifully planned and executed' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Howells's later works have failed to find their way into the regular repertoire but this recording by a radiant Winchester Cathedral Choir urges a thorough reappraisal. The long, fluid lines, startling cadences and massive chords which are so unique to Howells are all here in 'their' service' (The Observer)

'These are uniformly excellent performances and the recording quality is detailed yet superbly spacious. It's the first release from a renewed relationship between Winchester and Hyperion and, although I will hope for more rare Howells, I look forward to whatever else is on the cards. I highly commend this disc' (International Record Review)

The fear of the Lord
September 1976; SATB + organ; composed, to mark the occasion of the 650th anniversary of the college, for John Rutter and the choir of Clare College, Cambridge, who gave the first performance in the college chapel in 30 October 1976
author of text
Ecclesiasticus 1: 11-13

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The catalyst for The fear of the Lord, a setting of words from Ecclesiasticus, one of the apocryphal books of the Bible, seems to have been a service of choral evensong in the chapel of Clare College, Cambridge, on 23 May 1976, when the music sung by the choir under its director John Rutter was exclusively by Howells. The composer attended and afterwards noted in his diary his delight at a ‘wonderful evensong’. This occasion clearly sparked a desire to write music specifically for the choir that had so impressed him, because a few days later, on 6 June, he wrote in his diary that he ‘began anthem for Clare College’. The fear of the Lord was completed by mid-September and was sung for the first time in the College Chapel on 30 October. Howells’ late choral style—fearsome on the page, but perhaps less so in performance—is much in evidence here too. The optimism and hope expressed in this valedictory text seems to have inspired a man who in a long life had suffered the death of those closest to him, and was now perhaps anticipating his own ‘happy end’.

from notes by Paul Andrews © 2011

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